Belly fat is not accumulated in a day or two. It takes several weeks and months of wrong eating and lifestyle to build it. And, when people finally decide to lose their belly fat, the first thing they wonder is ‘Why am I not able to get rid of my big flabby belly even after exercising so much and cutting down on junk food?’
Here are a few of the common mistakes made and the reason why most individuals find it difficult to lose belly fat.
- Huge meal quantity (large portions)– Most people struggling with fat and weight loss are the ones who tend to have too much food at one time. The reason for this is largely either long gaps between the meals/ skipping previous meal or if the person consumes food very fast. How is this related to belly fat? When a person consumes food, it gets broken down to release/ provide energy. Firstly it will fill in the glycogen stores and then the excess calories that are not used up with good physical activity gets converted into fats and the most common sites of fat storage is the belly, arms, thighs, buttocks etc.
When you are having food, only post 20-25 mins of eating, the satiety centers in the brain are activated and you feel full and satisfied. When you eat fast the satiety centers of brain are not activated and you end up eating more.
Small frequent meals and chewing your food thoroughly and eating mindfully is the key to control the food portion.
- Dinner meals are high in carbs and also in quantities– Due to the hectic schedule, the only meal that we have together with the family turns out to be ‘dinner’ and in turn it ends up to be the largest meal with varieties of food that the entire family enjoys.
Ideally dinners should be light and should be high in proteins and less in carbs this is actually vice versa of what is generally practiced. The reason for the dinners to be light and high in proteins and less in carbs is that post dinners we are not that active thus not a real requirement of all the carbs for energy. The process of recovery of all the muscles that are used up throughout the day, wear and tear happens during the night and that requires proteins.
- Physical and Mental Stress- for eg Excessive exercise– This is only with regards to people who are excessively obsessed with exercise to lose belly fat. Excessive exercise leads to physical stress and thus high cortisol levels. In case of mental stress you must have noticed the first thing that you would choose is chocolates/ ice creams or any comfort foods that are high in sugars /carbs for that matter. At this point of stress, the food gets broken down and is converted to fat and stored in your belly area.
Exercise in moderation and keep yourself stress free by indulging in some yoga and meditation or your hobbies.
- Consumption of processed foods/ ready to eat- Do you have the habit of reading labels? Do pick one product that you eat the most and read the label today. Most of the processed or ready to eat food product are high in sugar/ fat/ refined carbs. It is extremely low in fiber too. Even the fiber enriched product gives less than 2 gms of fiber per serving.
Read the labels and choose wisely. Best thing would be to have homemade food or if you can try some variations to increase the fiber intake by incorporating more veggies/fruits along with the main product.
- Aerated drinks/cold drinks and products containing HFCS (High Fructose Corn syrup) or liquid glucose present in all the aerated drinks, cold drinks like Pepsi, Coke, flavoured sugar syrups etc. does not get metabolized and are stored in the belly as fats which is really tough to get rid off through just activities.
Opt for buttermilk, lemon water, coconut water, fresh lime soda (salted) over the above drinks
The list doesn’t end here. There is more to add. List to be continued in the next part of the blog.